Epilepsy Talk

Seizures won’t wait — even during COVID-19 | November 20, 2020

COVID-19 seems to be knocking on everybody’s door. Along with the peril and the terror.

And the possibility of seeing your doctor during these dangerous times seems risky, at best.

So, you can’t see the doctor and they can’t see you.

Because they’re just not available. Except perhaps in a hospital setting, critical care, or maybe in a clinic.

That could means more exposure. More jeopardy. Is it really worth the exposure?

Then, looking forward to a world without COVID-19, there’s still the dilemma of not driving.

Or consider that you live in a remote area. Having to drive hours just for a 15 minute visit.

But the seizures won’t wait. And you can’t wait for however long it will take to make an appointment.

Enter Telemedicine…

Telemedicine offers the opportunity to help resolve some of the problems inherent in epilepsy care, in a timely manner.

This includes access to specialty care, decreased reliance on transportation to clinic appointments, and the potential for family involvement.

With telemedicine, programs can be designed to enhance patient compliance.

What’s more, Telemedicine can be an important factor in follow-up care, and reducing patient costs!

Basically, as it goes, follow‐up visits consist of a brief overview of past and current seizure and medication profile, along with a focused neurological exam.

You discuss issues such as medication side-effects, plans to stop medication or change it. (For that a Seizure Diary is helpful. More on that, in a minute.)

How Does Telemedicine Work?

The advent of the smart phone has been a boon in the advent of sharing information between you, your family, and your physician.

Instant messaging through WhatsApp, social media (e.g., Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook), or the traditional short message service (SMS) allows you to rapidly and directly contact your physician, ask urgent questions and exchange information.

Although it cannot fully substitute traditional face-to-face visits, video teleconferencing provides the opportunity for maintaining a patient–doctor relationship in spite of distance or a pandemic such as COVID-19..

It can address urgent questions, advise on drug-related adverse effects, and sort out other concerns for optimum remote epilepsy management.

And don’t forget electronic seizure diaries which are useful tools for recording seizures, monitoring or identifying provocative factors or triggers.

My choice is Seizure Tracker.

Developed by parents with a son who has intractable epilepsy, Seizure Tracker has become the world’s largest internet and mobile accessible seizure diary worldwide.

The service is free and easy to use online anywhere in the world.  You can easily create a new account at www.SeizureTracker.com.

Plus an electronic seizure diary can remind you to take your anti-seizure medications, keep track of your appointments, and help keep track of your progress, along with countless other things.

Imagine, you can capture an epileptic event — like the ictal stage of a seizure — record it on a smartphone and send it to your doctor (using online communication tools, such as instant messaging (e.g., emails or WhatsApp or remote document sharing/file exchange).

Although we don’t know when COVID-19 will end, we do know that we have a new, exciting option…NOW.

And there’s much, much, much more to come.

It’s a brave new world out there!

While we can’t always see eye to eye or face to face, we can embrace the future.

Not to be too dramatic, but our lives may depend upon it.

 

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Resources:

https://practicalneurology.com/articles/2019-oct/telemedicine-epilepsy

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7225695/

https://www.epilepsy.com/article/2020/5/community-corner-covid-19-epilepsy-and-telehealth-visits

https://n.neurology.org/content/92/15_Supplement/P3.5-031

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/canadian-journal-of-neurological-sciences/article/telemedicine-and-epilepsy-care-a-canada-wide-survey/793AF8B1E2C2A8526C700B2C903481D0

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1525505019308807

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2007.01464.x

 


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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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